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Inside a stunning renovated home in Chicago’s iconic Palmolive Building

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The unit’s designer makeover drew its inspiration from Chicago itself

Photo by Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor

Offering Lake Michigan views from its commanding position at the north end of Chicago’s Mag Mile, the 1929 Art Deco Palmolive Building is a quintessential Windy City skyscraper. The 37-story tower was once the headquarters of the Colgate-Palmolive corporation, the site of the first Playboy Club, and a home of Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn following its residential conversion in the early 2000s.

Photo by Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor

The owners of a 5,500-square-foot unit within the famous building, however, found it lacking a certain Big Shoulders je ne sais quoi and tapped Phillip Liederbach of the Chicago-based firm Liederbach & Graham Architects and New York interior designer Steven Gambrel for an extensive makeover. The duo previously partnered on a lush, David Adler-inspired makeover of a Lincoln Park townhome featured in House Beautiful in 2014. It’s currently available for $8.5 million.

With the Palmolive project, Gambrel tells Elle Decor that the goal was to emphasize the home’s inherent “Chicago-ness: what it really means to be in Chicago. We were trying to cull from the past while establishing a unique vocabulary.” Bucking popular renovation trends, the project called for the home’s existing open floorplan to be partitioned with new walls.

The term “new walls” ends up being a gross understatement given the exotic mix of materials involved. The home’s library is wrapped in a striking shade of red leather while its Macassar ebony doors sport custom lozenge-shaped panels inlaid with antique mirror. The highlight of the property is arguably the dramatic master bathroom. Lined with a rare black-veined marble known as Calacatta Capri and featuring a terrazzo floor with inlaid brass, the space earned a spot on Elle Decor’s December cover.

For more photos of the Art Deco-influenced home, check out the magazine’s website or scoop up a hard copy of its latest issue.

Photo by Douglas Friedman for Elle Decor